The BBC has offered all UK-based public sector employees the chance to apply for voluntary redundancy as it looks to make savings of £125m this year.
Director General Lord Hall, who will be replaced by Tim Davie this summer, announced the voluntary redundancy scheme in a briefing posted on the Corporation’s internal network yesterday afternoon.
In the briefing, seen by Prolific North, it is announced that there will be a six-week window, starting today, in which “anyone, of any grade in UK Public Service” can register their interest in voluntary redundancy.
“There is, however, no guarantee… as certain parts of the Corporation may have skills shortages which prevent requests being granted,” it adds.
A redundancy calculator has gone online today to enable staff to assess what they would be entitled to.
“We know hard choices are necessary,” Lord Hall said. “Over a third of our costs – across the BBC – relate to our people. That’s why we’re introducing this voluntary redundancy programme.”
All BBC UK-based public sector staff (which excludes BBC Worldwide staff) are being offered the chance to apply for voluntary redundancy from today.
The BBC was already facing financial pressures due to the government’s decision to stop funding licence fees for people over 75 from August. Anyone who receives a pension credit will still be eligible for a free licence, which will cost the BBC around £250m a year.
Lord Hall said the coronavirus crisis had caused additional financial pressure, meaning the BBC now had 24% less to spend on its UK public services than if the licence fee had risen with inflation over the last decade.
This meant the Corporation needed to make additional savings of £125m this year, he said, and even more next year.
A BBC spokesperson added: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means the BBC needs to make £125m of savings this financial year, in addition to the considerable efficiency savings the Corporation had previously committed to and planned for.
“The BBC’s challenge is to keep delivering programmes and services for the whole country while continuing to adapt and change. The BBC is therefore inviting public service staff to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.
“This is a necessary process to ensure the BBC meets the challenges of a fast-changing media environment within its financial perimeters.”